Nearly half (45 per cent) of British parents say they don’t spend time on creative tasks with their children, reveals new research by parenting website, yano.co.uk.
In an era of smart phones and other gadgets, one in ten British children spend less than an hour a week on creative tasks such as writing stories or drawing pictures, with four per cent never doing any of them at all.
Despite being surrounded by modern technology and the time pressures in our daily lives, what is evident is that children still love being creative...
The poll of UK parents of primary-age children – which was commissioned to coincide with the launch of a nationwide creative writing competition backed by authors including Kristina Stephenson, Helen Cooper, Kristina Stephenson, Nii Parkes and Claire Steele - also saw one in five report fears their children have reduced communication skills due to the fact they spend more time with gadgets than reading, writing or painting.
Despite more than half (56 per cent) of the parents polled claiming that they wish their children were more enthusiastic about creative tasks, 45 per cent say that they simply don’t have time to spend doing them with their children.
Three quarters even stated that they rely on their child’s teacher to encourage them to get involved with tasks of a creative nature, with 58 per cent suggesting that it should be the sole responsibility of schools, while two fifths also added that their children’s homework is ‘too serious’ and should include more creative activities to stimulate their minds.
Kristina Stephenson, popular children’s author and writer of ‘Sir Charlie Stinky Socks and ‘The Really Big Adventure’, said: “Despite being surrounded by modern technology and the time pressures in our daily lives, what is evident is that children still love being creative, with simple pleasures such as drawing, story writing and dressing up, still being firm favourites. Story writing in particular is a great way to allow your children to unleash their vivid imaginations and have plenty of fun whilst stimulating their creative minds.”
Kristina is joining a panel of well-known children’s authors to help Yano uncover the next big, young creative talent via a nationwide search. Children across the UK and Ireland are encouraged to submit their original, creative stories entitled ‘My Most Amazing Adventure Ever’ encouraging more parent-child interaction via playful fun and learning.
Although lack of time seems to be the leading factor when it comes to UK kids missing out on creative activities, three quarters of parents surveyed said that they do think it is important for their child’s development with 43 per cent even suggesting that they see an improvement in their behaviour when getting involved with tasks such as reading, writing, baking, arts and crafts.
Ann-Marie McKimm, founder of Yano and mum of two, said: “Kids are clearly missing out so, we hope our creative writing competition will spur parents on to spend more time getting creative with their kids.”
Whilst traditional creative tasks such as drawing and writing still top the poll of children’s favourite creative activities, it would appear that the continuing popularity of TV shows such as the Great British Bake Off and The X Factor is having an influence on our young ones, with cake decorating and singing also being amongst the top five most popular creative activities.
The top five creative activities loved by UK children:
1. Drawing / colouring / painting (45%)
2. Story writing (32%)
3. Cake decorating and baking (30%)
4. Playing dress up (25%)
5. Playing musical instruments / singing (22%)
Visit Yano.co.uk for further information on the 2012 children’s creative writing competition.